Growing up I loved nature. At primary age the first career I wanted was to work as a paleontologist – I loved dinosaurs! Aged seven I remember getting every book on dinosaurs I was allowed to take out from the town library. I traced pictures and copied them in to a note book where I made notes on each of these ‘terrible lizards’. I remember one picture I was particularly fascinated with and captured my imagination. It was of a T-Rex walking through a torrential downpour.
What fascinated me more than anything was how the realness of experiencing weather like this linked us together. Both of us fellow inhabitants of the earth, experiencing the falling of rain, but just at very different times. And the vast expanse of time that separated our existences – daunting. How can the human mind fully comprehend sixty five million years?
I remained fascinated with time, alone at night I would stay up to stare out of my bedroom window at the stars. The ancient starlight reminds all who look up of their relative youth compared to the mind-bending timescales of our universe. The perception of age is a human invention. Our own human lives stretching maybe a little past a hundred years.
“Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.” Psalm 144:4 ESV.
We have a beginning and an end, and we live every day in between, ever so slightly different one day to the next because of the passing of time and our experiences within it. But God has always existed, and He is the same now as He ever was. God is unchanging (Malachi 3:6). This alone should fill us with reverent awe and praise. That His existence and power goes beyond the scope of our imaginations as we live out our finite lives.
“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” Proverbs 27:1 ESV.
The sun rises and the sun sets as the earth turns on its axis over the same twenty-four hour period day in day out. Each day we have is a gift of time. We may not always be able to find the words to fully capture a moment in time, but we can feel it, we can know something without having the words to express it.
Our individual perception of time is relative only to ourselves, and our experience of time is dependent on what we focus our minds on. If we concentrate fully on one thing we lose our sense of time, we close our minds to all else and when we open them again time has flown by!
When our modern lives contain many things we think we need to focus on in just one day – we can become stressed, and hurry from one task to the next. With our minds in a perpetual state of focus, we miss the beauty of being present in the moment. We miss the beauty of creation. We miss the beauty and purpose of relationship.
A while ago I listened to this idea in a sermon by Bobby Schuller “It’s hard to be in a hurry and be kind!” I have thought about this often when I drive and found it to be true time and time again. I even told my tutor group who set about testing it as a theory and came back with the same findings. I had one student tell me that they remembered the words when their brother wanted help whilst he was rushing about getting ready to go out, and he stopped what he was doing to help him – he slowed down to be kind! When I think about it driving to work, whether pressed for time or not, I will stop to let someone out. I have decided it is more important to be kind than it is to be in a hurry. Kindness is listed as a fruit of the spirit, but it is also a gift we give to each other. A gift that can change the experience of the one who receives it for the better.
When we hurry we are falling back to our self-purpose and not Gods purpose. In becoming focused on what we think we must do, we develop a tunnel vision that misses out on other people’s needs and puts a spotlight on our own. Often when we hurry to get things done it is because we want to keep a handle on things so we don’t feel out of control. Or we cannot wait to get to the future, missing out on what we have in the now. Control is also depending on self. And when we focus on ourselves and our circumstances we take our eyes off God.
So we must relax! As Bill Gaultiere puts in Chapter 1 of his his book ‘Your Best Life in Jesus’ Easy Yoke’, Jesus was relaxed!
For information about the book check out; https://www.soulshepherding.org/store/best-life-jesus-easy-yoke/
For one thing we see in scripture that Jesus often meditated in prayer. The Bible tells us often to meditate; 1 Timothy 4:15 AMP, Psalm 143:5 AMP, Proverbs 15:28 AMP are a few examples. So whilst walking the dog, running or doing some other exercise I will chew over scripture verses in my mind, taking the time to observe my surroundings and breathe slowly, and deeply as I do so.
I love the calmness of the opening verses of Psalm 23 “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me besides quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” (Psalm 23:2-3 NIV).
I have also enjoyed listening to a couple of Psalm 23 meditations from Soul Shepherding see these links below;
So be present, and be kind. Appreciate the moments we have in the now rather than looking ahead to tomorrow.
Then “Be still and know that I am God”. Psalm 46:10 ESV.
Loving Father, let us meditate on Your word and the work of Your hands. Let us always live in Your purpose, with our eyes open to see as You see. Let us be loving and kind towards one another, unhurried and relaxed. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.